THE DELHI SULTANATE ADMINISTATION AND AGRARIAN REFORMS


Muizuddin Md Ghori, the last Turkish conqueror of north India, defeated Prithviraj Chauhan, the Chauhan ruler of Ajmer, Delhi and parts of the Punjab, in the second battle of Tarain in 1192 and occupied his vast territory upto Delhi.

He also defeated the Gahadavala ruler Jai Chandra, the ruler of Kannauj, in the battle of Chandawar in 1194, capturing his territory upto Varanasi.

Md bin-Bakhtiyar Khalji, one of the commanders of Md Ghori conquered Bihar from the later Palas in 1197 and Bengal from the last Sena ruler Lakshaman Sena in 1199.

The Sultanate of Delhi, said to have been formally founded by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, one of the viceroys of Md Ghori.

It was Iltutmish, who declared Delhi, as the capital of the empire.

MBT, for a brief period, transferred the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad.

Finally, Sikandar Lodi transferred the capital to Agra.

1. DYNASTIC HISTORY

Muizuddin Md Ghori had no sons. He didn’t nominate any particular one as his successor.

Md Ghori’s sudden death in 1206 resulted in a scramble for supremacy among his three important generals – Qutbuddin Aibak (a viceroy of Md Ghori and commander of his army in India),
Tajuddin Yalduz (ruled Karman and Sankuran between Afghanistan and Sind), and
Nasiruddin Qubacha (held Uchh).

The assumption of sovereign powers by Qutubuddin Aibak in 1206 is regarded as the foundation of the Sultanate of Delhi and the first ruling dynasty of the sultanate.

The SoD (1206-1526) had 5 ruling dynasties:
1. the Ilbari 1206-90
2. the Khalji 1290-1320
3. the Tughlaq 1320-1413
4. the Saiyid 1414-51
5. the Lodis 1451-1526.

First three were of Turkish origin and the origin of saiyids is disputed, but the lodis were Afghans.

The ilbari dynasty (1206-1290):

Also called as ‘the slave’, ‘the early turk’,’the mameluq’ and ‘the ilbari’.

It is wrong to call the dynasty as ‘the slave’, because out of the nine rulers of this dynasty only three Qutubuddin Aibak, Iltutmish and Balban – had been slaves during their early life.

The term ‘mameluq’ signifies ‘a slave born of free parents’.

The term ‘early turkish’ for this dynasty also cannot be accepted, because we have no later Turkish dynasty.

Our only choice to call the first dynasty of the SoD as ‘the ilbari, because all rulers of this dynasty, except Qutbuddin Aibak, belonged to the ilbari tribe of turks.

Qutbuddin (1206-10):

He was a turk of the Aibak tribe, which in Turkish language means ‘lord of the moon’.

He began his reign with the modest title of malik and sipahsalar which had been conferred upon him by Md Ghori.

He received from Sultan Md of Ghur a deed of manumission (freeing him from the slave status, as a slave legally could not not be a sovereign) and a chart, recognizing him as a sovereign.

Wali-ahd means successor.

Lahore and delhi were his capitals.

He died of a sudden fall from a horse at Lahore while playing chaugan.

He was famous for his generosity and earned the sobriquet of lakh-baksh (giver of lakhs).

He laid the foundation of Qutb Minar in Delhi, after the name of the famous Sufi saint Khwaja Qutbuddin Baktiyar Kaki, which was completed by Iltutmish.

Qutbuddin was succeded by his inexperienced and incapable son Aram shah who ruled Lahore for about eight months before being defeated and deposed by Iltutmish at a battle at Tarain.

Iltutmish (1210-36):

Shamsuddin iltutmish was the real founder of the DS.

He began his career as a sar-jandar (head of the royal body-guard)

At the time of Qutbuddin’s death, he was the governor of Badaun.

He made delhi the capital of DS.

Iltutmish devouted the first 10 years of his reign to securing his throne from rivals particularly Tajuddin Yaldaz and Nasiruddin Qubacha – who were the surviving officers of Md Ghori in the Punjab. He defeated both of them in 1216-17, and thus made his position secure.

In the meantime, he received the alarming news of the mongol menace in central asia under the leadership of Chengiz Khan, the founder of the Mongol empire, who had occupied the Beijing in 1215 and, five years later, conquered Transoxiana.

It is to the credit of iltutmish that, by his diplomatic skill, he saved the infant kingdom from the fury of the mongol invasion.

Iltutmish was so much scared of the mongol threat that, until the death of Chengiz Khan in 1227, he did not launch any military expedition.

Upon gaining freedom from the mongol threat, he reconquered Multan and Bengal in 1227-28, reasserted his authority in Bengal and bihar in 1229, and conquered Ranathambhor and Mandor in Rajastan.

In 1234-35 he led an expedition against Malwa and conquered Bhilsa.

Ujjain was also conquered and the ancient Mahakal temple was desecrated.

In 1229, he received a deed of investiture from the Abassid Caliph of Baghdad.

It was he who gave the country a capital, a sovereign state, a monarchial form of govt and a governing class or nobility, known as Turkan-i-chahalgani or Chalisa (a group of 40).

The majority of the nobles in iltutmish’s nobility were turks followed by Tajiks who were Iranians from the
Transoxiana and Khurasan regions.

The Turkish nobles resented the importance given to the Tajiks and looked down upon them as being Navisanda (pen-pushers) and not warriors.

Iltutmish divided his empire into numerous big and small iqtas, as assignment of land in lieu of salary, which he distributed to his Turkish officers.

He introduced the silver tanka and the copper jital –the two basic coins of DS.
Iltutmish died in 1236.

Iltutmish deviated from the normal practice of selecting his eldest surviving son as his successor.

He declared his preferences to his daughter Razia.

After his death, Shah Turkan, the mother of iltutmish’s eldest son, with the help of the Ulema and Turkish nobles, raised his son Ruknuddin Firuz to the throne, but he could not manage the affairs of state.

Razia (1236-40):

First and the last Muslim woman ruler of medieval India.

She liquidated a coaliation of the provincial governors led by Junaidi, the ex-wazir of iltutmish.

Another serious complaint against her was the promotion of Jallaluduin yakut, an Abyssinian, to the post of Master of Stables (amir-i-akhur), which had been held by Turkish officers only.

The first rebellion was raised by kabir khan, the governor of Lahore. Razia herself marched against him and handed out a crushing defeat to the rebel. Within a fortnight of it, Altunia, the governor of bhatinda, also revolted. Razia moved straight towards bhatinda, but was defeated and taken prisoner by Altunia, who married her.

After their marriage both marched at the head of a force towards delhi. But in the meantime the disgruntled nobles at delhi, placed bahram shah, another son of iltutmish, on the throne.

She was defeated by bahram. Deserted by her soldiers, she was murdered by robbers.

Razia’s successor, bahram shah, was a weak and incompetent ruler and was overthrown by the nobles after a brief reign of two years (1240-42).

Bahram shah, son of iltutmish, succeeded razia on the condition that he appointed one of the Turkish rulers, Aitigin, to the post of naib or vice-regent.

He was succeeded by Alauddin Masud Shah (1242-46), son of Ruknuddin Firuz, who also met the fate of bahram shah.

The next sultan, nasiruddin Mahmud (1246-66), was a grandson of iltutmish, completely self-surrendered.

Three years after his accession of the sultan(1249), Ghiasuddin Balban, one of the leading Turkish nobles, married his daughter to the sultan.

In return, the sultan appointed him to the post of regent (naib-i-mamlakat) with the title of Ulugh Khan (Premier Khan).

For a brief interval in 1453-54, Balban was restored to his iqta by the ruler under the influence of Imaduddin Raihan (a eunuch and a hindustani), who was the wakil-i-dar or deputy to the king in the judicial matters.

In 1254 balban came back to power, became the defacto ruler of the sultanate and Raihan was shunted to his iqta in Badaun.

Balban’s most important contribution during the reign of Nasiruddin Mahmud was to consolidate his master’s authority in the provinces.

Fourteenth century historian, Isami, in Futuhat-us-salatin as well as Ibn Batuta clearly state that the sultan was murdered by Balban.

Balban (1266-86):

Balban’s theory of kingship had two main objectives: first, to enhance the prestige of the crown through elaborate court rituals.

Second, the restoration of law and order and had to choose between ‘consolidation’ and ‘expansion’ as the guiding principle of his administrative policy. He preferred consolidation.

Balban strictly followed the policy of racial segregation.

Barani gives two examples which conformed to this attitude of balban: 1. he refused the proposal to appoint Kamal Mahiyar to the post of khwaja (accountant) for the iqta of Amroha as he was the son of a hindu convert; 2. balban refused to allow Fakhr Bawni to his court as he was only the chief of merchants (malik-ut-tajjar).

He introduced changes in the military organization of the DS.

He ordered the separation of the military dept (diwan-i-wizarat), and the formed was placed under a minister for military affairs (diwan-i-ariz).

He derived the basic elements of his theory of kingship from Sassanid Persia, where kingship had been raised to the highest possible level.

Balban claimed his descent from the Iranian hero, Afrasiyab.

He impressed upon the people that kingship was vice-regency of god on earth (niyabat-i-khudai).

The king was the shadow of the god (zil-i-ilahi).

He introduced the two un-islamic systems of sizda (prostration) and paibos (kissing the feet of the ruler).

He was first Indian ruler to introduce the celebration of the Persian new year Nao-roz in india.

Balban, before coming to the throne, had been an active member of the Turkish nobility (Chalisa or Turkan-i-chihalgani) and knew its real strength and its sense of loyality to the family of iltutmish.

His army had to face a military test when in 1275 Tugril, the governor of Bengal, rebelled against balban.

After the failure of two successive expeditions against Tugril, balban himself had to marched to Lakhnauti, the capital of medieval Bengal.

Harsh measures adopted by balban to deal with rebels and to maintain law and order. He adopted the policy of
‘blood and iron’.

He placed the overall charge of the frontier in the hands of his son and heir-apparent Muhammad, who was killed in one of his skirmishes against the Mongols.

Muhammad was a great fighter and also a patron of arts and scholar.

The likes of amir khusrau and amir hasan were under Muhammad’s employment.

Muhammad death was a smashing blow to balban and the death-knell of his dynasty.

Within a year of Muhammad’s death, balban died, and within four years of balban’s death, the ilbari dynasty alsoended.

Balban, on his death-bed in 1287, made Kaikhusrau, late prince Mahummud’s son, his successor.

After his death however the powerful kotwal of delhi, Fakhruddin, sent Kaikhusrau to multan and appointed Kaiqubad (second prince Bughra khan’s son) to the throne.

Balban’s grandson Kaiqubad was a voluptuary.

During this time Malik nizamuddin, the nephew and son in law of kotwal fakhruddin, became the virtual ruler.
Kaiqubad had paralysis.

A group of Turkish nobles raised Kayumars, Kaikubad’s three years old son to the throne.

A group of nobles, led by Ariz-i-Mumalik Malik feroz (later sultan Jalaluddin feroz khalji) who murdered Kayumar, seized the throne.

The Khaljis (1290-1320):

An enthnic group from western Turkistan.
Predominantly afghans.

The coming of Khaljis to power was more than a dynastic change. Their ascendancy is known as the Khalji Revolution, because it marked the end of monopoly of power by the Turkish noblility and the racial dictatorship.

Jalaluddin firuz Khalji (1290-96):

An old man of seventy when he came to the throne.

He adopted a conciliatory policy towards the nobles of earlier regime and even the Mongols.

He appointed malik Chajju kishli khan, balban’s nephew as the governor of kara, where he rebelled later.

In order to win the goodwill of the Mongols the sultan married one of his daughters to the mongol leader Ulugh Khan, a descendent of Chengiz Khan.

Ulugh khan and his mongol followers, who embraced islam were given residensial quarters in delhi, allowances and even social rank.

Ahmad Chap, his close associate.

He defended the policy of allowing hindus to preach their beliefs and idol-worship.

He ceased ranathombhor from the Chauhans, conquered jhain and besecrated the idol in the main temple. This was followed by the conspiracy of Sidi Maula to kill the sultan.

Sidi maula was trampled to death.

One of the most impotant event of Jalaluddin’s reign was the invasion of devagiri, the capital of the yadava kingdom in the deccan, by Ali Gurshasp (later sultan allaudin khalji), the nephew and son-in-law of the sultan, and the governor of the kara.

After his successful campaign to devagiri in 1296, Ali Gurshasp invited the sultan to come to kara, to receive the enormous wealth brought from the deccan as present. Jalaluddin came to kara in july 1296, where he was murdered by ali gurshasp, who proclaimed the sultan with the title of Allahuddin.

Alauddin Khalji (AD 1296-1316):

Alauddin’s first task after assuming power at Delhi (siri fort) was the elimination of the surviving members of the former sultan’s family, including his son Arkali Khan and Ruknuddin.

He also exterminated the old balbani and jalai nobles.

His theory of kingship was based on ‘kingship knows no kinship’.

First ruler among the delhi sultans who didn’t ask for mansur (letter of investiture) from the Caliph but called himself the deputy of Caliph.

He believed that defence, expansion and consolidation could all go together.

The expansion of DS took place in three phases, viz., 1. guj, raj, malwa, which were brought under the direct control of DS; 2. parts of MH and Deccan, which were made to accept the suzerainty; and 3. extention of the boundary of DS including Deccan.

His first major conquest was of the rich kingdom of Gujarat, which was then ruled by the Vaghela (Chalukyas or Solanki) king karna.

In 1299 alauddin’s army, under the joint command of Ulugh Khan and Nasrat Khan, invaded Anhilwad, the capital of Gujarat.

King karna was taken unawares and fled to the yadava kingdom of devagiri with his daughter devaladevi. His chief queen kamala devi fell into the hands of the victor, whom alauddin married with full honour.

The temple of somanath was ones again sacked.

During plunder of the rich port of cambay, alauddin’s commnader Nusarat khan acquired a hindu-turned muslim slave Kafur (also known as Hazar Dinari) who later on rose to become a great military general and the malik naib of alauddin.

Alp khan, the brother-in-law of the sultan was appointed the governor of Gujarat.
Conquest of rajaputana, where he conquered ranathambhor in 1300-01 from Hamir deva, a descendent of Prithviraja III.

Nusarat khan was killed in his expedition.

In 1303, he attacked chittor, the capital of mewar, which was being ruled by the Guhilot king Rana ratna singh.
Amir khusrau, who accompanied alauddin khalji in this expedition in his Khazain-ul-futuh gives an account of the conquest of chittor and also refers to the practice of Jauhar.

A2 various rajput sources and malik md jayasi’s padmavat, the main objective of alauddin khalji in invading chittor to acquire padmini, the queen of rana ratna singh.

Alauddin captured chittor, which was named Khizrabad, after the name of alauddin’s son Khizr khan, who was appointed as the governor.

The rulers of marwar and harauti (bundi) submitted.

Siwana and jalor put up stiff resistence but were conquered in 1308 and 1311 respectively.

In 1305, alauddin sent ain-ul-mulk multani for the conquest of malwa, which was placed under the governorship of latter.

Alauddin Khalji decided to sent an expedition, under the command of Malik Kafur, for the conquest of south India.

Between 1307 and 1312, Malik defeated the yadava king ramachandra of devagiri in 1307 and 1311, the kakatiya king pratap rudra deva II of warangal in 1309-10 and the hoyasala king vira ballal III in 1311.
Ramachandra or ramedo submitted without much resistence. He was presented one lakh tanka, a golden canopy (chatr) and the title of rai rayan.

Ramedo, in return, gave his daughter jhatyapali in marriage to alauddin khalji.

Malik kafur’s invasion of the pandyan kingdom of madurai (1311) politically fruitless because, vira pandya and sundara pandya, the claimants to the pandyan kingdom, refused to submit and accept the suzerainty of the DS.

Kafur desecrated the nataraja temple at Chidambaram and captured elephants and treasury of pandyans.

In 1313, after the death of yadava king ramachandra, when his son Singhana III declared his independence, malik kafur again invaded devagiri and annexed to the DS.

A2 Isami, a contemporary historian, Alauddin had instructed kafur to return the kingdoms of the rulers of telangana, grant them khilat(robes) and chatr(canopy) if they gave up their treasures, elephants and horses as well as a tribute for future.

Alauddin appointed his trusted commnders, including Ghazi malik (later known as sultna Giyasuddin Tuglaq), as warden to the North-western marches.

Alauddin’s administrative measures:

The measures for the prevention of rebellions:

Three successive rebellions – those of Akat Khan of malik umar and mangu khan, and of haji or sidi maula.

All religious endowments and grants of lands (waaf and inam) by the state were revoked.

Elaborate system of espionage was organsied.

The sale and use of liquor and intoxicans was completely prohibited in delhi.

Restrictions and strong checks were put on social gatherings, including parties; marriages between the families of the nobles etc.

Revenue reforms:

His first revenue regulation (zabita) related to the measurement of cultivable land as the principle for determining and revenue; biswa (1/20th of a bigha) was declared to be the standard unit of measurement.

The state demand was fixed as half of the produce per biswa and assessment was done on the basis of paimash (measurement).

Bhaga (land-revenue), bhoga (cesses) and kar (taxes)

Sultan deprived khuts, maqaddams and chaudhuris who were forced to pay the land revenue. Barani calls them balahar. Kuts were a set of intermediates who rose at the parganah od shiq (dist) level. Amir khusrau, for the first time, referred to them as zamindars.

House tax (ghari) and pasture tax (chari) were also imposed on the agrarian population.

Khalisa (crown lands); in the khalisa lands the revenue was collected directly by the state.

To ensure the full realization of dues or arrears from the collectors, alauddin khilji established a new dept called the diwan-i-mustakharaj.

The booty captured during war was called ghanima, of which the state was to receive 1/5th being distributed among the soldiers.

Military reforms:

A2 firishta there were 475,000 cavalrymen in his army.

A2 Ziauddin barani, the annual salary of a trained armed soldier with one horse was 243 tankas and with two horses 321 tankas. The soldiers were paid in cash. He was the first among the DS to introduce dagh (branding of horses) and chehra (maintain the descriptive roll of each soldier). He started a strict price control mechanism which came to be known as the market reform system.

Market control or economic regulations:

A2 Barani the basic objective of these reforms was to maintain a large and efficient army for keeping the Mongols in check.

A2 amir khusrau, sultan introduced these reforms for “the general welfare of the people”.

Barani informs that the cultivators could retain only 10 man of grain.

Four separate markets were established: central grain market, market for manufactured goods, market for general merchandise and market for horses, cattle and slaves.

Each market was put under the charge of a shuhna or controller of market. The sultan received daily reports for the market from three independent sources – shuhna, barids (intelligent officers) and munshis (secret spies).

Very strict punishments, were prescribed for cheating and under-weighing.
shehna-i-mandi was appointed to keep a strict virgil.

Permit officers – parwana rais.

Sarai-i-adl was the market for clothes which was set up near the royal palace at badayun gate.

Horse trade was the monopoly of the afghans and mutanis.

Ferishta, writing in the reign of Jahangir (1607), remarks: “to the end of alauddin’s reign these prices remained steady and there was no change in them owing to lack of rain or other causes”.

Malik kafur, to whom he had given the exalted title of malik naib (regent).

The able and loyal governor of Bengal, Alp khan, was murdered. There were rebellion in Gujarat, chittor,and devargir.

Qutbuddin Mubarak Shah Khalji (1316-20):

Immediately after alauddin’s death, malik kafur placed the late sultan’s minor son shihabuddin umar on the throne and himself became his regent.

But malik kafur was soon murdered by the sultan’s bodyguard and after a few weeks the throne was captured by another son of alauddin, mubark shah.

Mubark shah showed special favours on one of his slave boys, Khusrau khan, a hindu convert of the ‘baradu’ caste from Gujarat, whom he raised to the status of wazir, malik naib and commnder-in-chief.

In april 1320, mubark shah was murdered by Khusrau Khan, bringing the Khalji dynasty to an end.

Khusrau khan ascended the throne, with the title of Nasiruddin khusrau shah and tried to strike a reign of terror to overawe the khalji nobility into submission, which was resented by the nobles, particularly Ghazi malik, who captured and beheaded the sultan.

The Tughluqs (1320-1412):

Giyasuddin Tughluq (1320-25):

Ghazi malik ascended the throne as sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughluq shah.

Tughluq was the personal name of Ghiyasuddin.

Tughluqs belonged to the ‘Qarauna Turk’ tribe, which was a mixed tribe of the Turk and mongol stock.

The practice of physical torture in case of economic offences, and recovery of debts was given up.

He took keen interest in the construction of canals and for irrigation and formulated a famine policy.

He built the fortified city Tughlaqabad.

In 1321, he dispatched the crown prince Jauna Khan (later known as sultan MBT) to re-establish the authority of the DS in the south. Jauna Khan annexed the kakatiya kingdom of warangal (1322-23) and the pandyan kingdom of madurai (1323) to DS.

In 1325, when sultan ghiyasuddin tughlaq returing after concluding his military campaign in Bengal, prince Jauna khan raised a wooden pavilion at Afghanpur village, near delhi.

The pavilion, under which the sultan was received, collapsed suddenly and the sultan along with a few other dignitaries was crushed to death.

Ibn batuta holds Jauna khan responsible for pre-planning the ‘accident’ to kill the sultan.

MBT (1325-51):

Jauna khan succeeded ghiyasuddin tughlaq under the titleof MBT.

He was a great scholar of Persian and Arabic, astronomy, philosophy, mathamatics, medicine, logic.

He anticipated akbar in holding religious discussions with hindu yogis and jain saints, such as rajashekhar and jaina praba suri.
MBT was the first sultan who visited the tomb of muinuddin chisti at ajmer.

He built the mausoleum of nizamuddin auliya at delhi.

He offended the orthodox muslim ulema by curbing their political influence and tried to resolve secular problems through secular methods.

MBT had been grossly misunderstood and variously asscessed on account of his ‘five ambitions projects’.

Two principal contemporaray sources of the history of MBT, ziauddin barani and ibn batuta.

Ibn batuta, whom the sultan had appointed as the qazi of delhi, was very prejudiced against the sultan and accuse him of having given excessive rewards and punishments and appointing low-born people to high offices.

Transfer of capital from delhi to devagiri (1327) which was rechristened daulatabad (the house of prosperity).

The sultan had to abandon this project on two accounts: 1. rebellion in mabar in 1334-35; 2. the spread of bubonic plague around the same time.

The introduction to token currency was the second controversial project of the sultan.

The token currency meant the introduction of bronze tankas in place of silver tankas.

The global shortage of silver was the most important reason for this measure.

The experiment with token currency had succeded in china.

The mongol ruler, Kublai Khan, introduced paper currency called chao in china which remained in circulation for 30 years, though when amulated in iran it had to be abandoned soon.

Barani wrote that ‘house of every hindu became a mint’.

The sultan was compelled to withdraw the token currency in 1333.

Ibn batuta, who visited delhi in 1334, does not menition this at all.

MBT has been called the ‘prince of moneyers’.

Third scheme: conquest of khorasan and iraq.

Barani says that 370,000 men were enrolled and payed for one whole year, but the army didn’t leave for the expedition and was disbanded.

The next scheme of the sultan was the conquest of Qarachil (1333).

Qarachil has been identified with some rajput state in the Kumaon-Garhwal region.

The sultan’s nephew Khusrau Malik was the commnader-in-chief of this expedition.

Flushed with the easy victory of Qarachil, he marched into Tibet, where the entire army was annihilated in winter, followed by an outbreak of plague.
The sultan increased the land revenue in the doab (1328-29).

In order to provide relief to the pesantry, created a dept of Ag (diwan-i-kohi), formulated a famine code.
Ag loan (sondhar) was given to the farmers.

He faced as many as 34 rebillions during his reign, 27 of them in the south alone.

The whole of south India became independent during his life time and three major independent states, the empire of vijayanagar, the bahmani kingdom and sultanate of Madhura – were founded in the territories of the sultanate in the south.

Having reconciled to the loss of the south, the sultan wanted to restore order in Gujarat and sind.

He restored law and order in Gujarat but while moving toward Thatta, in sind, he died in march 1351.

FST (1351-88):

Nobles offered the throne to the late sultan’s cousin firuz.

In his book, Futuhat-i-Firuzshahi to prove his faith in Islamic laws he got them inscribed on the tower of a mosque called Jami masjid in Ferozabad.

He restored the rent free lands (inam, idrar) granted to the theologians, the learned and the weaker sections.

The grants (idrar) of the teachers were raised from 100-200 tankas to 400 or 500 to 1000 tankas.

He imparted the theocratic tinge to the taxation system by abolishing as many as 23 taxes and substituted with only 4 taxes – kharaj, zakat, jeziah and khums sanctioned by the Islamic law.

He used coercive methods for the collection of jeziah.

The sultan extended the scope of jeziah by levying it on the brahmans too.

He introduced an irrigation tax at 10% of the produce of lands called Haqq-i-sharb which were irrigated by the state-constructed canals.

The greatest success of the reign of FST was the promotion of Ag through the construction of canals by the state, bringing fresh lands under cultivation along the banks of those canals, introduction of superior crops and laying out of more than 1200 state-managed fruit gardens.

He got two canals dug to bring water from ganga and yamuna to hissar, a city founded by him.

Akbar, the mughal ruler, got it repaired later.

Shahjahan extended it upto delhi.

The british repaired it again in the 19th century.

FST also made the civil and military posts hereditary.

80% of the soldiers were paid by the grants of village (wajh), the gair wajahi or irregular soldiers were paid in cash.

Shams-i-Siraj Afif writes “a soldier who was too old to ride would be kept in service, but he was to sent as his ‘agent’ his son to serve in his place; if has had no son, then his son-in-law; and if he had no son-in-law, then this slave”.

FST was very fond of collecting a large number of slaves. A dept of slaves called Diwan-i-Bandajani was setup by him.

The slaves were drained in various crafts and employed in royal karkhanas.

A2 Afif the total number of slaves collected by him amounted to 180,000.

To provide free treatment to all, he setup a hospital (dar-ul-shafa) in delhi.

He founded a number of new cities and towns, 3 most famous being Hissar Firuza, Jaunpur and Firozabad in Delhi.

Ferishta credits him with the construction of 50 dams, 40 mosques, 30 colleges with attached mosques, 20 palaces, a 100 caravana serais.

To beauty his new capital Firozabad in Delhi, two asokan pillars were brought, one from Topra in Ambala and other from Meerut.

Firoz shah kotla in delhi still survives.

He got Qutb minar repaired and added a storey to it which had been destroyed by lightening.

The mosques of iltutmish and Alauddin khalji near qutb minar were also repaired.

He got the Shamsi tank near qutb minar and hauz khas tank too repaired.

He setup a separate dept called the diwan-i-khairat, to the help of the poor and the needy.

One of its functions was to make arrangements for the marriage of the poor muslim girls at state expense.

His military campaigns mostly proved unsuccessful – the worst being his two abortive attempts to conquer Bengal.

Although in his Jajnagar campaingh seized Cuttak and destroyed the Jagannatha temple.

In his nagarkot campaingh too he managed to force the raja to accept his suzerainty.

FST collected 1300 sanskrit manuscripts from Jwalamukhi and other temples.

FST died of old age in 1388.

He was ardent follower of sufi saint Fariduddin Ganj shaker of Ajodhan.
Ones when he was visiting the tomb of salar masud ghazi, a more aggressive sufi saint in bahraich, he appeared in his dream after which FST became a more devout Muslim and nothing but shariyat became the basis of governance.

Royal powers remained concentrated in the hands of the ambitious and arrogant hereditary PM Khan-i-Jahan Juna Khan, while the war of succession for the throne went on alongside.

All the six successors of FST, including a son and five grandsons were panthom rulers who wielded neither substancial soverign powers nor had sufficient territories under their effective controls.

Later Tughlaqs:

FST was succeeded by one of his grandsons, tughlaq Shah, who assumed the title of Giyasuddin Tughlaq II.

Within a year of his accession, he fell victim to intrigue and was beheaded in early 1389.

During the next 5 years, three sultas – Abu Bakr, md shah, and Alauddin sikandar shah – ascended the throne.

Then followed nasiruddin md (1394-1412), the last sultan of the dynasty.

During nasiruddin md’s reign, Timur, the great mongol leader of Central Asia, invaded India.

Timur reached delhi in December 1398 and ordered general massacre.

Timur left delhi in early 1399.

‘the rule of the lord of the world extends from delhi to palem’

THE SAYYIDS (1414-1451):

The mongol invader Timur, who had invaded, plundered and slaughtered the people of delhi in 1398, appointed saiyid khizr khan, the founder of the dynasty, the governor of Lahore, multan and dipalpur.

After the departure of timur, he declared himself the viceroy of timur in north-western India and defied the authority of delhi, then ruled by mallu khan and sultan mahmud tughlaq.

After the latter’s death, he invaded delhi and became its master on june 4, 1414.

Saiyyids had the shortage span of life – 37 years.

The founder of the dynasty khizr khan (1414-21), didn’t assume the royal title.

He professed to rule as the deputy of timur’s son and successor, shahrukh, to whom he probably sent occasional tributes.

He tried to suppress the refractory chieftains in Katehar (Rohilkhand), the doab and mewat.
Khizr khan died on may 20, 1421.

Mubarkh shah, the son and successor of khizr khan, assumed the title of sultan.

He defeated the muslim nobles – Jasrath Khokhar and turk-baccha in the Punjab.
Beheaded in feb 1434.

The conspirators led by sarwarul mulk, raised Muhammad shah, a nephew of Mubarakh shah, on the throne, Albeit the real power of the state was usurped by Sarwar-ul-Mulk, the wazir.

But for the timely help given by Bahlul Lodi, the governor of Lahore, delhi might have fallen into the hands of an army of invasion from malwa.

The sultan conferred the title of khan-i-khanan on Bahlul lodi.

On the death of mahummad shah in 1445, his son alauddin ascended the throne of delhi with his high sounding title of Alam shah. He is the last and most incompetent ruler of sayyid dynasty.

Bahlul lodi, deposed ‘shah alam’ and laid the foundation of a new dynasty on the throne of delhi but permitted the ex-sultan to retain his estate of badaun.

‘shah alam’ was fully content with his estate died a happy man in 1478.

The Lodis (1451-1526):

The lodis, who ruled in delhi for 75 years, were afghans by race.

The afghans are divided into several clans like Lodis, farmulis and lohanis.

They were enrolled in large numbers in the army of DS in the second half of the 13th century.

Concentration of lodis at multan and sirhind.

The afghan concept of govt was democratic.

Bahlul Lodi (1451-89):

He was the first afghan ruler of delhi.

In his youth he was a trader in horses.

His uncle, islam khan, who was the governor of sirhind, nominated him as his successor.

He consolidated his power by helping sultan mahummad shah during the invasion of mahummad khalji of malwa.

Muhammad shah’s weak successor alauddin alam shah, transfered the crown to him without resistence in 1451.

Bahlul’s most important political achievement was the conquest of sultanate of jaunpur, which had been founded in 1394.

The Sharqi sultans of jaunpur claimed to be the legitimate successors of the sayyids of delhi on the basis of matrimonial relations.

Hussain sought shelter in bihar, and bahlul put his own eldest son, barbekshah, incharge of jaunpur.

Sikandar lodi (1489-1517):

Bahlul lodi was succeded by his third son, nizam khan, who took the title of sikandar shah.

Barbekshah challenged his claim.

Sharki sultan hussain shah defeated by sikandar, he found shelter in the territory of sultan alauddin hussain shah of Bengal which then included parts of bihar.

Sikandar marched against the sultan of Bengal (1495).

A treaty of non-aggression followed, and alauddin hussain shah recognized sikandar’s authority over bihar and
tirhut.

The need of keeping a strong watch on the refractory chieftains in the doab and the urge for suppression of the rajputs in central India – explain sikandar’s transfer of the capital from delhi to agra.

For some years he lived at sambhal.

In 1506 he founded the city of Agra and made it his capital.

He wrote verses in Persian under the non de plume of gulrukhi.

Ibrahim lodi (1517-16):

Sikandar lodi was succeed by his son ibrahim lodi.

He was challenged unsuccessfully by his brother, jalal khan.

Daulath khan lodi, governor of Lahore, organized a movement against the sultan with the support of the afghan nobles in the Punjab.

They sent invitations to babur in Kabul to invade India. Babur responded and starting in December 1525, he entered the Punjab, received daulath khan lodi and alam khan lodi (brother of sikandar lodi) in his camp, occupied Lahore, and proceeded to delhi through a sunam and samana.

Ibrahim led a large army in person and meet the invader at panipat.

A battle followed (20 april 1526). The afghan army was rooted.

Ibrahim himself was killed.

No other sultan of delhi was killed earlier on the battle field.

The first battle of panipat ended the period which had begin at tarain in 1192.

Babur’s victory over the afgans, together with akbar’s victory over them in the second battle of panipat (1536), heralded the birth of a stronger and far more brilliant political structure.

ADMINISTRATION OF DELHI SULTANATE:

The Turkish rulers of delhi, as well as their sayyid and lodi successors (with the sole exception of khizr khan), used the title of sultan.

They borrowed it from mahummad of ghazini who had assumed independence after freeing himself from the vassalage of samarids and upon whom the title of ‘sultan’ had been conferred by the caliph of Baghdad.

Only for a brief period that it acknowledged political subordination to an extra-indian authority.

Khizr khan recognized the suzerainty of shahrukh, son of timur, and used the title of Rayat-i-a’ala.

His son and successor, mubarakh shah, abolished this practice and assumed the title of ‘shah sultan’.

Succession:

They numbered no less than 28 in 320 years – only 7 of them viz., iltutmish, balban, alauddin, MBT, FST, Bahlul lodi and sikandar lodi, had fairly long reigns.

Iltutmish introduced the dynastic principle in to the govt of DS.

Iltutmish and his descendents sat on the throne for about 56 years (1210-66).

The accession of Ghiyasuddin tughlaq marked the end of the exercise of political power on a tribal basis.

At first the turks and then the khalji’s enjoyed previlages as tribal groups; but the sultans of tughlaq dynasty didn’t represent any particular tribe or the interest of any particular racial group.
‘Tughlaq’ was not a tribal cognomen, it was a personal name.

FST, the son of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq’s younger brother, Rajab.

After the end of the tughlaq dynasty, the nobles offered the throne to an influnencial noble named daulat khan; but he was soon replaced by khizr khan to whom timur assigned delhi.

Khizr khan and his successors are generally described as sayyids.

Bahulal lodis accession marked the revival of a tribal monopoly of political power.

The lodis were pure afghans. Not only the political offices but also the army were ‘afghanised’.

The idea of kingship:

The Iranian poet Firdausi in his Shahnama wrote that the ruler was the representative of god and was endowed with farr, thus he was to be obeyed and respected.

Ghazali in his nasihat-ul-mulk also stressed on farr-i-izadi (divine affulgence) i.e., the divine origin of kingship.
On the basis of this barani justified the absolute rulers of the DS and the Zawabit (use of state laws) in Tarikh-i-firuzshahi and Futwa-i-Jahangiri.

To justify their rules, the rulers of DS included the Caliphs name in the Khutba and the coins.

Except Mubark khalji, none of the rulers called themselves Caliph.

Iltutmish treated the great Turkish nobles as his equals and “professed his shyness to sit on the throne”.

Balban proclaimed himself as the vice-regent and the shadow of god on earth. He believed that ‘the king’s heart is the mirror of divine attributes’.

Alauddin khalji assumed the title of sikandar-i-sani (‘the second alexander’).

In his conversation with Qazi Mughisuddin, alauddin clearly stated that he issued command which he “considered to be beneficial to the state and prudent under the circumstances”, without inquiring whether these were permitted by the shariyat or not.

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq softened the harshness of alauddin’s administrative measure.

FST reversed the policy of alauddin and thereby weakened the monarchy.

The Sultan:

The sultan generally discussed all important matters of state in a council, majlis-i-am or majlis-i-khailwat.

The nobility:

Only two factors which served as practical checks on the royal power: the pressure of the nobility and the influence of the ulema.

The nobility was composed of persons of foreign origin but the belonged to two distinct groups: Turkish nobles and non-turkish (taziq).

Turks were stronger and they claimed a monopoly of high offices in the state.
A2 historian barani, iltutmish had 40 powerful Turkish slaves (Chihalgani) who got the upper hand after his death.

Alauddin ignored the racial and hereditary claims of the turks and conferred high offices on nobles whom he considered efficient and trust worthy.

Ghiyasuddin tughlaq’s brief reign was a period of harmony between the crown and the nobility.

The Sadah amirs, whose revolt led to the rise of the bahmani kingdom, represented an institution of mongol origin. They were officers who combies civil and military functions.

The reign of FST was a period of hormany between the crown and the nobility.

Central Govt:

A2 barani, there are four important ministers, comparable to four pillars, on which the edifice of administration rested. These were, diwani-i-wizarat, diwan-i-arz, diwan-i-insha, diwan-i-risalat.

The primacy among the ministers was vested in the wazir, the head of the diwan-i-wizarat.

Nizam-ul-mulk Tusi in his book Siyasatnama elaborated upon the quality and functions of the wazir. The wazir, A2 Tusi had to be ahl-i-qalam i.e., a learned man, rather than a warrior.

The wazir was assisted by mushrif-i-mamalik and mustaufi-i-mamalik.

Mushrif was in-charge of collection of revenue and audited the local accounts.

Mustaufi controlled the state expenditure.

Iltutmish’s wazir was Fakhruddin Isami, later succeeded by Muhammad Junaidi who opposed Razia. After
Razia’s death, Muhazzad Ghaznavi exercised influence till the rise of Balban. Khwaja Hasan was appointed by Balban, followed by Ahmad Ayaz. Balban also appointed Khwaja Khatir as his deputy wazir, who continued as wazir during the time of Jalaluddin and also served Alauddin for some time, Alauddin appointed Nusrat Khan and after him Malik Kafur.

Malik Kafur combined the post of wazir and naib-us-sulanat (deputy to the sultanate).

During the later Khalji rulers Khusrau malik became the wazir, took the post of naib and later ascended the throne. MBT appointed Ahmed Ayaz (Khan-i-jahan) as wazir.

FST appointed khan-i-jahan maqbal, deputy to the previous wazir as his wazir, who was later succeeded by his son jauna khan and was also given the title of khan-i-jahan.

During alauddin khalji’s time the number of collectors (amils, mutsarrifs) increased innumerably.

He created a new dept called diwan-i-mustkhraj to control them.

FST created a separate dept for the collection of sultan’s revenues.

The diwan-i-arz was responsible for the administration of military affairs.

Ariz-i-mumalik was the head of this department.

The diwan-i-insha was headed by dabir-i-khas and staffed by secretaries called dabirs.

The minister was in-charge of drafting royal proclamations, official dispatches, letters to provincial governors, officers, etc.

The exact functions and duties of diwan-i-risalat have not mentioned in the contemporary accounts and, therefore, there is a difference of opinion about the same.

A number of depts came under the preview of diwan-i-risalat. Sadr-i-jahan was incharge of ecclesiastical dept.

Muhtasibs or censors of public morals were another set of officials who came under sadr.

They were responsible for the proper observance of obligatory duties of the muslim subjects. They also acted as a check on prices, weights and measures.

There was a privy council (majlis-i-khas), which the sultans consulted on important matters.

Provincial Govt:

DS was divided into samller units called wilayat or iqlim or iqta.

During alauddin khalji’s reign there were 12 provinces.

Provinces were divided into districts or shiqs under shiqdar and further divided into paraganak under alim and village underkhut and muqaddam.

The governors of the provinces were called wali, muqti, naib and even sultan, but the last two mentioned titles were applied only to the governors of distant provinces enjoying unlimited powers.

The duties of a governor include taking measures for the safety of the roads which were necessary for trade and communication.

Delhi sultans appointed sahib-i-dian or khwaja who was the revenue administrator.

The smallest unit in the province was a village.

A number of villages collectively formed a parganah.

A paraganah of 100 villages was called sadi, that of 84 villages was called chaurasi.

The chief parganah officer (faujdar) was vested with the responsibility of maintaining peace and order.

Balban started the demand for fuwazil (balance of the income).

During the early period of MBT’s reign, detailed accounts of income and expenditure of the provinces were taken.

Apart from provinces administrated by governors, there were cenrally administered areas (khalisa). There were in charge of officers who functioned under the direct supervision of the wizarat. The delhi territory belonged to this category.

Military organizations:

Based mainly on Turkish model.

The very title of amirs, khans and maliks, with which every official was designated, was a military gradation.

Iltutmish was the first Turkish ruler of delhi who thought of organizing the army of the DS as the king’s army, ie., an army centrally recruited, centrally paid and centrally administered.

Balban increased the numerical strength of the army.

No sultan took greater interest in the army than alauddin khalji. He maintained a large army on a permanent
basis and did not disband the soldiers as soon as the campaign was over. .

The royal cavalry were called hasham-i-qalb.

The troops posted at the provinces came to be known as hasham-i-atraf.

Military organization received attention for the first time when balban became the sultan. He increased the power and prestige of the airz, the head of the military dept, and raised him to the ministerial rank.
Alauddin also introduced the the system of dagh or branding the horses. The system of chehra was followed and the ariz continued to enroll and keep registers of the army.

The most important official concerned with the organization of the army was ariz-i-mumalik and naib-ariz-mumalik.

Muster rolls were taken, horses branded and other arrangements were made by the airz or his naib.

The amir was incharge of the royal guards of the sultan.

Iltutmish gave the soldiers assignments or iqtas as their salary.

The soldiers, during the reign of alauddin, used to receive cash payments.

FST made it a law that if an officer of the army died he was to be succeeded by his son; if he had no son, by his son-in-law; if he had no son-in-law, by his slave; if he had no slave then by his nearest relation; and if he had no
relation, then by his wife.

Each fort had its commandant who was generally called the kotwal and he kept the keys of the fort.

The Police:

Kotwal was the head of the police. They were not the military officers.

Maintenance of law and order and internal security were the main duties of of the kotwal. They also supervised the mints.

Balban’s kotwal Fakhruddin and alauddin khalji’s kotwal Ata-ul-mulk played an important role in the administration.

Justice:

Qazi-ul-Quzzat or chief qazi headed the judicial department, though the sultan was the supreme or highest court of justice and sat in a court called mazalim.

In the absence of sultan, an officer called amir-i-dad presided over the court. He enforced the qazi’s decision also.

The muftis presided over disputes and cases sent to them by qazis.

Ibn batuta informs us that MBT sat in the court on every Monday and thrusday.

Barani refers to a special court during this time called diwan-i-siyasat specially to deal with the muslim opponents, but this seems to be one of Barani’s many exaggerations.

III. AGRARIAN CONDITIONS

The administration of the early Turkish sultan in India rested on the foundations of two elements, namely the iqta (the assignment of land revenue) and kharaj (land revenue).

Muhammad ghori was the first to introduce the iqta system, but iltutmish gave it an institutional form.
In the beginning, the iqta, which was a revenue-yielding piece or area of land, was assigned in lieu of salary, but under FST it became hereditary.

The rais means local chiefs.

Alauddin was the first sultan of delhi who took a comprehensive view of the agrarian system from the point of view of the central govt and gave it a new shape through elaborate regulations.

He bought most of the small iqtas back into the khalisa “by a stroke of the pen”.

The standard of the state demand was fixed at one-half of the produce.

Barani says that the imposition of the same rate of assessment on the village headman and the ordinary cultivators was due to alauddin’s desire that “the burden of the strong was not to be thrown on the weak”.

MBT continued the practice of granting iqtas.

For revenue purposes, the land was divided into shiqs and over each shiqs was placed a shiqdar. The shiq in the deccan were larger than those in northern India.

The early revenue measures of FST are recorded in barani. First, kharaj and jeziah were collected according to the “rule of produce”.

In delhi the jeziah was a personal tax – a fixed sum per head payable in cash. In rural areas, however, it probably varied with the rate of land revenue.

The digging of canals was the most important aspect of FST’s constructive policy in the agrarian sector.
Assignments were made to military officers and soldiers.

Under the lodis, assignments were fewer in number, but large and more lucrative, sikandar lodi adopted one uniform yard of forty-one digits as the standard unit of measurement.

Ibrahim lodi issued an order that the revenue should be taken from the cultivators only in kind.

IV. REVENUE SYSTEM UNDER THE SULTANS

Iltutmish divided the kingdom into iqtas amongst his soldiers and nobles as their remuneration for the services.
Balban made a review. The iqta holders or muqtis (also known as muqtas or muktais), now no longer rendered military service due to old age or disease.

Balban, however, could not bring about any effective change in them owing to the appeals of Malik-ul-Umra Fakhruddin, the kotwal of delhi.

Balban took another step to supervise iqta holders. He appointed his sons to important provinces as governors and created the office of khwaja. It was a sort of diarchy, though in a very limited sense, created by balban. Though muqta was chiefly the in-charge and khwaja his subordinate.

Dr. R.P. Tripathi suggests that Khwaja was a civil official and had to deal with accountants and records.
The delhi country comprising mainly of the khalisa land directly under the revenue ministry, and the river country of the doab under the governors.

There were three modes of assessments: 1. compounding 2. sharing and 3. measurement.

During the reign of alauddin the most important change effected was in the mode of assessment. He insisted on actual measurement of land.

Alauddin raised the scale of taxation to the highest point (1/2). He also imposed a ‘grazing tax’ called charai.

For the realization of arrears of revenue alauddin created a branch in the wizarat called mustkhraj.

The khuts and muqaddams were hard hit, driven to impoverishment.

Unlike alauddin, ghiyasuddin granted certain concessions to the khuts and muqaddams.

One of the most important steps taken by Ghiyasuddin was that he ordered that the demand should be made on the actual produce (hasil). This was definitely a very statesman-like step taken by ghiyasuddin because it clearly provided for concessions in cases of crop failures and other unforeseen calamities.

MBT continued the old custom of granting iqtas was continued and muqtis and amils continued to serve the purpose of revenue collection.

FST attempted to increase his income by means of improved quality of cultivation and superior crops, by means of haqqi-i-sharb or water tax, over and above kharaj, on land irrigated by canals (its scale being one-tenth) and by income of gardens.

FST roughly built 1200 gardens in and around delhi.

1 comment:

  1. do u know why Mughals not mentioning these sultans in there history books ? nothing told about them in there book all Indian history is started from fields of furgana and samrqand

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